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Letters to the Editor

Direct vote

July 30, 2012

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To the editor:

I understand that the presidential candidates are spending all their money and putting all their efforts into the so-called swing states — those that are not red or blue. So the campaigns have nothing to do with those of us who live in solid red or blue states, which further negates the value of the voters who are in the minority of these states, e.g., a Democrat in a red/Republican state.

Under the indirect, Electoral College method of electing the president, the votes of us “color-impaired” voters are irrelevant, meaningless. So, the majority of American voters are irrelevant to the campaign and the election of the president. But, all American voters would become essential to both the campaign and the election if we changed to a direct, popular vote to elect the president. Is this not what democracy is meant to be?

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Want Term Limits?

Replace all beltway republicans with democrats at the voting booth. Don't need legislation.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

Repub ENTITLEMENT - Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

Repub ENTITLEMENT - Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Repub ENTITLEMENT - Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents.

Source: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Republicans cost the USA too much money!

Republican DEFICIT EXPANDING FLATFORM Written In Stone!

ENTITLEMENT - TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros sells out state governments, public schools,SRS services etc etc to private industry = Grab Your Wallets! http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

Tax cuts = the ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again.

Still A Bad ENTITLEMENT Idea – Bush Tax Cuts aka The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2001/0301miller.html

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

A four year degree is not quite enough. Having two or three sources of income is not a bad idea. Why? There are at least 6 reasons to keep in mind.

  1. Mergers
  2. Hostile Takeovers
  3. Leveraged Buyouts
  4. Free Trade Agreements
  5. Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan home loan scandal which killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs.
  6. Bush/Cheney Home Loan scandal killed the economy and cost the USA millions of jobs

All of above primarily Republican economics ultimately translate into millions upon millions upon millions of USA job losses. Big time layoffs are the end result. These jobs go abroad with tax codes that prevent taxation on profits made abroad from USA big name corporations.

There was a time when becoming employed by corporate America came with long term employment, fine wages and dependable retirement benefits. Those days are gone.

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Liberty275 1 year, 8 months ago

You can change the way we elect our employees by amending the constitution. Good luck.

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notajayhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

How is the electoral college any different than, say, the Senate? The minority party in Kansas has exactly the same representation in the Senate as they do in picking a president. For that matter, how much representation does the minority party in any congressional district have in the House?

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Kate Rogge 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't think there will ever be a day when Republican Kansas allows Democrat Kansas to have any share in this state's electoral college votes for President.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

Don't complain that I'm speculating. That's exactly what I'm doing, so be forewarned.

Every now and then, the topic of eliminating the Electoral College comes up. We see it in these forums. We see it in the ivory towers of academia. Where we don't see it is in Washington. At least not in the form of a proposed Constitutional amendment. My guess as to why - Because it's dead on arrival. No way does it get the needed support in Congress and no way does it get the necessary support amongst the states. No way, no how.

Some here have disputed whether or not it helps smaller states. Some have said that wasn't the original intent. Whatever. I mean whatever. The very real practical reality (really) is that the small states, you know, those flyover states, those who have two votes in the Senate and relatively few actual people compared to our coastal brothers, we ain't voting for it. Not now. And not in the lifetimes of my grandchildren's grandchildren. Everything else is an exercise in futility. But if it's your passion to beat dead horses to death, again and again, carry on.

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Jaded_one 1 year, 8 months ago

All I know is that if someone votes Democratic in a Republican dominated State, that said State will cast their votes 100% for the Republican candidate. Does the voter truely feel represented in this situation? Just seems rather odd in this day in age...

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notajayhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Anyone give any thought to what a recount would entail in a nationwide direct vote? Just sayin'.

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Mike Wasikowski 1 year, 8 months ago

The idea that a direct vote will lead to candidates focusing exclusively on NYC, LA, and Chicago is ludicrous. Assuming equal turnout, if a hypothetical candidate somehow won 88% of the votes in each of the 5,000 biggest towns in America and 0% elsewhere, he would not get a majority of the votes in that election and would lose to the other candidate. That is a ludicrous standard to achieve. Only ten counties in the entire country hit that percentage of votes for one candidate in 2008. If anything, this would lead to higher turnout rates as states would try to maximize their impact on the election.

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jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

A simple proportional split would be better than more complex ways, in my view.

Winner take all clearly wipes out the minority votes, which is something we shouldn't want, if we believe in democracy, even in a democratic republic.

And, it results in apathy among that minority - many people said "why bother voting in KS if you're not republican"?

Take the whole number of electoral votes in a state, and apportion it according to the popular vote - ie. if the popular vote split 60/30/10%, apportion the electoral votes accordingly.

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weiser 1 year, 8 months ago

I just want free health care, food and lodging. VOTE OBAMA!!!

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

Paul R. Getto above asks "Why vote? That's what our masters want. Low turnout". A recent local election in Lawrence produced a turnout of just 16%. Very sad. But was it our masters that wanted this low turnout or was is voter apathy? I suspect it's more the latter than the former. How do we get voters to the polls then? How do we motivate them?

I've got a couple of suggestions. My first suggestion would be to give each voter a substantial incentive to vote. Maybe we can just give them a huge sum of money for voting. Give each voter $1,000. Or maybe we can motivate people by proposing something so onerous that they will flock to the polls. Maybe put something on the ballot that will double their taxes, and then double them again and double it again. That ought to get them to the polls.

As long as people don't have a vested interest in an issue, they won't vote. We are free to engage in foreign wars because we don't have a universal draft. Want to ends those wars? Begin a draft. Want to get poor people to vote? Tax them. Think overall spending is too high? Force us to pay for everything (no deficit spending), then we'll decide for certain what we want to spend on and what we don't. But as long as we don't feel as if we have an interest in an issue, it's apathy that will keep voters away, not our masters.

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Crazy_Larry 1 year, 8 months ago

Maine and Nebraska are the only states to use the Congressional District Method for distributing their electoral votes. With the district method, a state divides itself into a number of districts, allocating one of its state-wide electoral votes to each district. The winner of each district is awarded that district’s electoral vote, and the winner of the state-wide vote is then awarded the state’s remaining two electoral votes. I think this would be more representative of the people's choice than the winner-take-all method most states use.

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jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

To determine whether or not proportional apportionment of electoral votes results in the same result as direct voting, one has to do a little thought experiment and some math.

Last time I did that, I found it doesn't give the same results in all cases, but in some, when the split is the same, but reversed, in different states.

But, usually, it results in a closer outcome, with the minority in each state more represented, but the electoral college continuing to make states a bit more equal.

Sounds good to me - then D in KS, or R in solidly D states, will have more reason to vote, and in such a way that their vote may actually count.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 8 months ago

The disappointment of disappointed progressives is hardly an adequate reason to throw out the electoral college.

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notajayhawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Theoretically, in a direct vote, the people of just nine states could outvote the people of the other forty-one. Think that's a good idea when they're deciding, oh, I don't know, say the location for nuclear waste dump sites?

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down_there 1 year, 8 months ago

Voting for Obama is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 8 months ago

WOW! Look what I found!

"Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came."
Thomas Paine

No wonder the GOP and the Libertarians hate the Founding Fathers so much.

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down_there 1 year, 8 months ago

Number of States won by: Obama: 19 McCain: 29 Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 McCain: 2,427,000 Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million McCain: 143 million Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 McCain: 2.1

(from a source)

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snitty 1 year, 8 months ago

Granted we are a republic not a democracy, we claim to practice democratic elections. Everyone who votes should expect their vote to count. The Electoral College means that many can expect their vote not to count, so, in that case, why bother voting? It is profoundly anti-democratic and discourages participation in presidential elections. The "tyranny of the majority" is also known as the will of the people, and that is supposed to be sovereign. I agree with the LTE.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 8 months ago

The 'Electoral College' is not understood by DRD4 Genetic bipeds. Without this Genetic glossing. Their positive profundity of the "Electoral College" system, which was designed by 'scientists,' would be glaring.

btw. It is hypocritical of Genies like Eric Holder to 'hate' photo ID because they/he 'claim' it "disenfranchises" the minority vote and yet a voting system vacant the "Electoral College" does what Genies/Holder claim Photo ID does.

precious Genies. They get so 'flummoxed' over the simplest of systems

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jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

How about making the electoral college votes proportional to the popular vote in each state?

That way, the states retain their equalizing factor, while the minority vote gains representation as well.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

If we were to eliminate the Electoral College, candidates would focus their efforts where they could get the greatest bang for their bucks. They would go to places where they could reach the greatest numbers of voters in the shortest amount of time. In other words, New York, California, Florida, Texas, etc. Where they would spend little if any time is in places like North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, etc.

The Electoral College was a compromise between the big states and the smaller ones at our country's founding. The smaller states were concerned that their voice would not be adequately heard. We were given a slightly greater amount of influence by virtue of the number of electors being slightly more than our populations might indicate. If that compromise were to be unilaterally taken away, what would the smaller states receive in return given that we still have the concern that our voice wouldn't be heard?

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Brock Masters 1 year, 8 months ago

We live in a republic not a democracy. Think your vote is meaningless now then consider how meaningless the voters in KS would be compared to the numbers of voters in CA.

But if you don't like the system as it is now then work to change it.

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Paul R Getto 1 year, 8 months ago

The Electoral College is the Red States' ace in the whole. Without it the Republican party would be in trouble.

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none2 1 year, 8 months ago

The United States was never intended to be a democracy; rather it is a representative constitutional republic. It is representative because we do not have to vote ourselves on everything -- rather we elect people to do so for us. It is constitutional to protect our rights against them being taken away on a whim. It is republic because positions of power our not inherited as is in the case of a monarchy.

If we were truly a democracy, we would individually have to vote on everything, and laws to protect our rights against the tyranny of the majority would be irrelevant.

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